Brighton Early Music Festival goes entirely digital for 2020

Brighton Early Music Festival will be taking place totally digitally for the first time.

Artistic director Deborah Roberts
Artistic director Deborah Roberts

It will run from October 23-November 1, with concerts having been filmed in various locations across Sussex in advance including Sullington Manor Farm near Steyning, Woods Mill Nature Reserve near Henfield, St Mary’s House and Gardens in Bramber and The Secret Garden in Kemptown.

Artistic director Deborah Roberts said: “The current Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink how we can best present the festival this year. Given current global uncertainty, we have decided to develop a fully digital festival, with programmes merging musical performance with film, images, animation and documentary presentation – much more than filmed concerts. We can’t wait!

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“All events will be streamed online and totally free to access across ten days. By going online, the festival is looking forward to appealing to a wider audience both in Brighton and across the earth, including people who find it difficult to get out to live events in person.”

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk.

Friday, October 23, 7pm (available until Friday, October 30): Pocket-Sized Classics

Pocket Sinfonia

Mendelssohn Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Beethoven Symphony No. 6, The Pastoral

Newly commissioned animation and film of the natural world accompanies two of the most-loved classics of all times, both arranged and reduced to chamber proportions.

Watch at www.youtube.com/user/brightonemf

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk

More information at www.bremf.org.uk or call 01273 833746 for a listings card

Saturday, October 24, 10.30am (available until Saturday, October 31): Birds, Bugs & Other Beasts – A Musical Menagerie

Spiritato with Delyth Taylor - puppeteer

Family programme including music by Heinrich Biber: puppets made from recycled materials meet in the woods.

Watch at www.youtube.com/user/brightonemf

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk

More information at www.bremf.org.uk or call 01273 833746 for a listings card

Saturday, October 24, 7pm (available until Saturday, October 31): Arcadian Wilderness

Ensemble Augelletti

Comprising musicians, poets and philosophers, the Accademia degli Arcadi was formed in Rome in 1690. Members sought inspiration from pastoral scenes set in Arcadia – an ancient, mythical space of unspoilt wilderness where the inhabitants lived in harmony with their natural surroundings.

This programme is set in the exquisite 15th-century barn of Sullington Manor Farm, and the pastoral landscape of rural Sussex.

Watch at www.youtube.com/user/brightonemf

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk

More information at www.bremf.org.uk or call 01273 833746 for a listings card

Sunday, October 25, 3pm (available until Sunday, November 1): Connections

Dirk & Adam Campbell

New and traditional music combining string and wind instruments from Africa and Asia presented and performed by father and son duo Dirk and Adam Campbell.

Watch at www.youtube.com/user/brightonemf

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk

More information at www.bremf.org.uk or call 01273 833746 for a listings card

Sunday, October 25, 7pm (available until Sunday, November 1): BREMF Live! Showcase

Four selected alumni ensembles from our young artist programme BREMF Live! who have progressed particularly well - featuring film footage from their original BREMF Live! showcase in addition to some new material showing more recent activity.

Watch at www.youtube.com/user/brightonemf

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk

More information at www.bremf.org.uk or call 01273 833746 for a listings card

Friday, October 30, 7pm (available until Friday, November 6): Introducing The Trumpet Marine

The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments

Meet the trumpet marine, a towering, single-stringed instrument with a host of resonating or sympathetic strings. It was a trumpet-substitute for nuns and an unusual vehicle for virtuosic musical display in the late 17th century, falling out of circulation in the late 18th century and rarely seen or heard since then, despite its magnificent sound and appearance.

Watch at www.youtube.com/user/brightonemf

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk

More information at www.bremf.org.uk or call 01273 833746 for a listings card

Saturday, October 31, 3pm (available until Saturday, November 7): Bird Charmer

James Duncan from Sussex Wildlife Trust with Piers Adams recorders

During this COVID-19 spring, the reduction in traffic noise made more people aware of the beauty of birdsong. Yet in earlier times, birdsong was the ongoing soundtrack of everyday life, and musicians were deeply aware of its rich complexity. Recorder virtuoso Piers Adams plays some of the music composed in imitation of birds.

Watch at www.youtube.com/user/brightonemf

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk.

More information at www.bremf.org.uk or call 01273 833746 for a listings card

Saturday, October 31, 7pm (available until Saturday, November 7): Rebellion!

Joglaresa

We live in an age of protest and rebellion: against environmental damage and climate change, against war and injustice, and over religious and racial difference. But they certainly had their share of rebellion in medieval times: against the Crusades, corrupt leaders, religion and even sexual norms. Joglaresa perform medieval protest songs with some contemporary flavours and vivid animation.

Watch at www.youtube.com/user/brightonemf

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk

More information at www.bremf.org.uk or call 01273 833746 for a listings card

Sunday, November 1, 3pm (available until Sunday, November 8): Sweet Ayres Of Arcadia

Musicke in the Ayre

Wilton, near Salisbury, was home to Mary Herbert, sister to the Elizabethan poet, Sir Philip Sidney. The house and gardens provided the inspiration for his major pastoral poem, The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia.

This programme, filmed in the ‘Arcadian’ pastoral landscape of the Sussex Downs and the house and gardens of St Mary’s House, Bramber, reflects on the beauty of nature as a metaphor for love, beauty and constancy.

Watch at www.youtube.com/user/brightonemf

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk

More information at www.bremf.org.uk or call 01273 833746 for a listings card

Sunday, November 1, 7pm (available until Sunday November 8): The Four Faces Of Gaia, A Celebration of the Earth

Various artists

BREMF’s flagship multi-media production for 2020, reimagined for the digital space.

Four regions of the earth: Africa, India, the Middle East and Europe; and the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water combine in a celebration of music and dance in honour of the planet that sustains us.

Watch at www.youtube.com/user/brightonemf

Free to view, but donations encouraged at www.bremf.org.uk

More information at www.bremf.org.uk or call 01273 833746 for a listings card